Twenty-four solar terms 22nd [Winter Solstice]
The season is [winter solstice].
It's the time of the year when the days are the shortest and the nights are the longest.
In order to survive this time of year when the sunlight is weakening and the weather is getting colder, we ask that you eat nutritious food and stay in good health.
[Winter Solstice] falls between the year-end and New Year holidays, so there are a lot of events and customs happening.
What kind of year has this year been for you?
This time I would like to introduce you to the year-end customs.
(For [Winter Solstice Customs], click ▼ to see.)
New Year's Eve, the last day of the year
Half a month has passed since the custom of December 13th [the beginning of the New Year].
In order to welcome the New Year in a pleasant manner, by New Year's Eve, we have started cleaning the house, put up decorations such as pine pickles, shimenawa ropes, and prepared food (offerings) such as osechi and rice cakes. Purify.
Origin of New Year's Eve
[New Year's Eve Events]
1. New Year's Eve Bell
Joya refers to the night of New Year's Eve, and is called Joya, which means ``excluding the old year.'' At many temples, important ceremonies are held to look back on the past year and express gratitude, such as the ``Joya memorial service'' and ``Joyae'', which are held to reflect on the past year and express gratitude.
The last memorial service is held at the temple so that we can listen to the ringing of the bell, get rid of our earthly desires, and welcome the New Year with a correct and pure heart.
The New Year's bell is rung between midnight from New Year's Eve to New Year's Day.
At many temples, the bell tolls up to 107 times on New Year's Eve , and then the last time after the new year .
Hitting it 107 times on New Year's Eve means erasing earthly desires during the old year.
And the last time will be after the new year.
At the beginning of the new year, while listening to the sound of the bell, it has the meaning of remembering the various events of the past year, and at the very beginning of the new year, thinking of reflection, improvement, and hope.
108 bell tolls
It is said that 108 is the number of human desires.
Worldly desires are the mind that causes suffering to oneself. A mind that troubles you and a mind that obstructs the path to enlightenment. In Buddhism, it is believed that the reason for not being happy is not something outside of you, but something inside you.
There are various theories about the origin of "108".
The number of things that cause people to feel and lead them astray
Six areas: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind
There are three states: good, normal, and bad .
It is further classified into two categories: dyed and pure .
This means that each of these exists in the past, present, and future .
6 × 3 × 2 × 3 ₌ 108
Numbers based on the calendar month, the 24 solar terms, and the flow of time during the 72 seasons
Number of calendar months (12) + Number of twenty-four solar terms (24) + Seventy-two calendar months (72) ₌108
The calendar month, the 24 solar terms, and the 72 seasons are also based on the flow of time, so it makes sense if you consider that earthly desires are born as people spend their time.
2. new year soba
Buckwheat has been grown since ancient times as a relief crop, but it was also eaten on special days as a lucky charm.
It has its own characteristics depending on the region, and there are many names for it, such as Eve soba, Ootoshi soba, Tsugomori soba, Un soba, New Year's Eve soba, Togetori soba, Tonkiri soba, Enkiri soba, Long life soba, Fuku soba, and Shiin soba. there is.
I have introduced food for many events so far, but since ancient times, when Japanese people eat food during events and celebrations, they have put various thoughts into it, such as blessings and wishes. Toshikoshi soba is one of them.
The meaning behind Toshikoshi soba
1. so that you can live longer
Like soba, we eat it in hopes of staying slim and long.
2. I hope you are in good health
Even if soba is exposed to the wind and rain, it will become healthy again when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, like soba noodles, it has the wish to be revived again and again.
3. Let's get rid of this year's bad luck and welcome next year with good luck
Because soba noodles break easily, it is said to be used to cleanse away the hardships and misfortunes of this year and welcome the new year.
4. I hope you have good luck with money
It is said that gold and silversmiths in the past used buckwheat flour to collect the gold and silver that was scattered during their work. It was believed that collecting money through soba would bring good luck with money.
Also, the ingredients placed on top of soba have meaning.
For example, ``shrimp tempura is a symbol of longevity,'' and ``deep-fried tofu is a symbol of business prosperity.'' Depending on the ingredients, hopes for the new year are entrusted.
The 72 signs of [Winter Solstice] are expressed as follows.
The first season <64th season "Notsukerekusa Shozu">
When summer grass sprouts
"Natsukarekusa" means "Utsubogusa". Beneath the winter-killed fields, only the eyelid grass begins to sprout.
Second candidate <65th candidate "Sawashika no Otsuru"
When a male deer's antlers fall off
The large, magnificent antlers, which are one of the characteristics of male deer, fall off once a year at this time of year and begin to grow again in the spring.
Last Descendant <64th Descendant "Yukikudarutemugi Nobiru">
When the wheat begins to sprout under the snow
They grow quietly even under deep snow, patiently waiting for the snow to melt in spring. The 1st season that is paired with the 24th season, ``Mugi no Toki Itaru''.